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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Commercial Fishing FAQs

Marine Fisheries

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Q. – How is the homeport determined from the U.S. Coast Guard documentation?
A. -
It is determined from the listed hailing port.

Q. – What documents do I need to present for the Commercial Fishing Vessel Registration if a transfer of the U.S. Coast Guard documentation has been requested?
A. –
If an application for transfer of documentation is pending, a copy of the pending application and a notarized bill of sale may be submitted.

Fish Dealer License Questions

Q. – Who has to pay the new dealer fee?
A. –
Anyone who was not a dealer during the previous license year.

Q. – What Fish Dealer License categories do I need to deal in bait?
A. –
To deal in bait, you can purchase either the Shrimp or Finfish Fish Dealer License Category. The Shrimp Category is needed to deal in minnows and shrimp. The Finfish Category is needed to deal in minnows and live shrimp.

Q. – If I change the name of the business with the same responsible person on a Fish Dealer License, will I be charged a fee?
A. –
Yes, you will be charged a replacement flat fee of $12.50 to change the name of each Fish Dealer License.

Recreational Fishing Tournament License to Sell Fish Questions

Q. – Do all fishing tournaments need the Recreational Fishing Tournament License to Sell Fish License?
A. –
No, only tournaments that plan to sell fish must have this license. Organizers of tournaments must apply 30 days before the tournament to get this license.

Q. – Do tournaments need to report the proceeds from the sale of fish?
A. –
Yes, tournaments must report the proceeds from the sale of fish. The sale of fish must go through a licensed Fish Dealer. The proceeds from the sale of fish may be used only for charitable, religious, educational, civic, or conservation purposes and is not to be used to pay tournament expenses.

Q. – Can vessels fishing in tournaments with a Commercial Fishing Vessel Registration and an individual with a Standard or Retired Commercial Fishing License sell their catch instead of giving it to the tournament?
A. –
No, vessels and fishermen participating in tournaments with a Recreational Fishing Tournament to Sell Fish License are not to engage in commercial fishing activities.

Q. – Does a tournament need a Recreational Fishing Tournament License to Sell Fish if the tournament is selling fish plates from fish caught in the tournament?
A. –
Yes, the sale of fish plates, including free fish plates to participants, from fish caught during the tournament requires the tournament organizer to purchase a license. Additionally, the tournament must sell the fish through a Fish Dealer (the tournament organizer may wish to purchase a Fish Dealer License to meet this requirement).

License to Land Flounder from the Atlantic Ocean Questions

Q. – Do I have to notify the Division of Marine Fisheries when the master of the vessel on the License to Land Flounder from the Atlantic Ocean changes?
A. –
Yes, you must notify by filing an application with the Division of Marine Fisheries within 5 days and you will receive a replacement license.

Q. – Can a License to Land Flounder from the Atlantic Ocean be transferred to another vessel?
A. –
The license can be transferred. In doing this, the landings that qualified for the license are also transferred.

Land or Sell License

Q. –What is the Land or Sell License?
A. –The Land or Sell license is required for commercial fishermen who operate vessels that are registered/documented in another state and who fish in federal waters and wish to land and sell the product in North Carolina.

Q. –Are there any qualifying requirements to obtain a Land or Sell license?
A. –There are no qualifying requirements other than holding a commercial fishing license from another state or a federal agency.

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N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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